Owner wants value of cig­a­rette lighter il­lu­mi­nated

The Palm Beach Post - Residences - - Front Page -

Ques­tion: I found this old cig­a­rette lighter at a garage sale. Even though I don’t col­lect lighters, I bought it for five dol­lars be­cause of its un­usual shape and think­ing it might be worth more. It is in the shape of what looks like a banjo and I think it is sil­ver plate. It says, “Ron­son pat. June 1928.” What do you know about it? Do I have a trea­sure?

An­swer: You do in­deed have a trea­sure and an ex­am­ple of cig­a­rette lighter his­tory. Your Ron­son lighter is the first au­to­matic lighter mar­keted by Art Metal works be­tween 1926 and 1928. Re­pro­duc­tions were made in the 1980s.

His­tor­i­cally, the first Amer­i­can-made lighter that used fluid and flint — called “The Koop­man Magic Pocket Lamp” — was patented in 1893. Your Ron­son banjo lighter could sell to a col­lec­tor, if au­then­tic, for more than $300. Check out deal­ers and col­lec­tors’ clubs for more in­for­ma­tion.

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